Excerpt: NHL 2K8 is the gaming equivalent of your favorite band releasing a Greatest Hits album. Although you already own all of the hit songs included on the album in one form or another, often times new material is stirred in. Upon purchasing the album you find that the new or previously unused recordings are lackluster, deprecating an otherwise great collection of material. That’s what happened with 2K8 ‘s new content. And even then, it’s still all about the hits.
Summary: Hockey fans will own both games anyway, right? I'd recommend picking this one up after NHL 08, as it's different enough to warrant the purchase, but sitting solidly in second place behind EA's juggernaut. I'm really hoping 2K9 is a revamp for the series - particularly the controls. It doesn't really matter if you have a far deeper gameplay pool to draw from, give us something we can work with to plumb those depths or that goes to waste.
Excerpt: Do you remember playing Ice Hockey back on the NES? Well.. for those of you who don’t… you had to use your imagination to visualize all of the rough checks: Stubby Fat Guy would smash Tall Skinny Guy into a padded wall, but all you'd see is a mangled mess of differing colors and hear a beep from the NES' sound chip. Technology has significantly improved since those days of old.
Excerpt: When the NHL came back from the lockout that very well could have delivered the death blow to the struggling league, they decided to open up the action on the ice in hopes of capturing the attention of the typical A.D.D. sports fan. Through a series of new rule changes and long overdue enforcement of others, the league is attempting to take hockey off of the boards and out of the hands of the grinders and give it to the high flying skilled players.
Excerpt: 2K’s answer, in part, was to implement a new control system of their own. Dubbed ProStick, the new system is identical to EA’s Skill Stick in theory, being that the left analog stick acts as your skates while the right analog stick acts as your hockey stick. The key difference between the two is that with 2K’s ProStick, you don’t shoot the puck with the right analog stick. You only use it to puck handle.